The death of four members of a Brampton family has shaken friends, neighbors and acquaintances in the city. Two students, their parents, and grandparents are dead following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that happened on Sunday, according to the Peel District School Board.
The board says it was told by police that two students, Anushka Dixit, 13, and Ashka Dixit, 14, were among the 157 who died when the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet went down shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.
The victims include Pannagesh Vaidya, 73; his wife Hansini Vaidya, 67; their daughter Kosha Vaidya, 37; her husband Prerit Dixit, 45; and their two children — Anushka and Ashka.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown put out a statement saying: “This is an unbelievably tragic situation for this family.”
Ashka was a student at Chinguacousy Secondary School, according to a statement from the school.
“This tragedy has brought great sadness to the students and staff at Chinguacousy Secondary School,” the release reads.
Anushka attended Centennial Sr. Public School, according to a separate release.
Manant Vaidya the uncle of Ashka and Anushka — he’s the brother of the girls’ mother, Kosha is recovering from the shock. He dropped off the family to Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning.
“It’s a huge tragedy,” he said. “I lost my parents, I lost my sister. I don’t have anyone else now.”
Vaidya said his sister, who became a Canadian permanent resident in 2003, wanted to take her children to Kenya to visit her birthplace.
Vaidya said his parents, who became permanent residents in 2012, insisted on joining them for the trip.
Vaidya said his brother-in-law was working seven days a week in order to pay for the trip.
When he was told of the death of his family, which was around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, he said he didn’t believe it. So, he went to Pearson airport, and spoke with officials, who confirmed their deaths.
The victims were from 35 countries, authorities say, including 18 Canadians.
A Toronto woman, a Carleton professor, and an Edmonton mother were among those who died. -CINEWS